Johnsonville Sausage Announces Contest Winners

July 22, 2014
Johnsonville Sausage has announced the 10 winners of its nationwide “Best of US” contest for volunteer firehouses.

Johnsonville Sausage has announced the 10 winners of its nationwide “Best of US” contest for volunteer firehouses.

The Grand prize winner Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (Dooly County, Georgia) garnered nearly 9,000 votes since the month-long voting window opened.

Ashburn Volunteer Fire Rescue Department (Ashburn, Virginia) came in at a close second with nearly 6,000 votes. With more than 68,600 total votes having poured in from around the country, the second annual contest generated overwhelming participation in support of some of the nation’s finest volunteer departments.

As the grand prize winner, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department will receive $10,000 cash to use toward the firehouse or the community. The International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) is providing the grand prize winner with its training library and home smoke alarm equipment with alert devices (that meet the needs of people with disabilities) to install in 100 homes in their community.

“There was a swell of enthusiasm and support this year in search of the Best of US volunteer fire departments,” said Ralph Stayer, CEO of Johnsonville Sausage. “We believe this level of activity shows us how much people appreciate the work their fellow Americans do to serve and protect us. These winners definitely represent The Best of US.”

Earlier this year, Americans were called to nominate the volunteer fire departments that go above and beyond the call of duty for their residents. Up for grabs were cash prizes, training materials, Johnsonville Sausage products and fire safety equipment from the IFSTA. The inspiring entries revealed some truly great departments, from some that train members of other area departments in wild land fire suppression to ones serving as emergency operations centers during natural disasters.

Johnsonville’s “Best of US” contest highlights America’s unsung heroes—this year, volunteer firefighters—who help define the spirit of the nation. The contest’s installment in 2013 recognized educators and community celebrations.

Based on a public nomination and voting process, here are the nation’s top 10 “Best of US” volunteer fire departments: Top 10 Volunteer Fire Departments 1. Grand Prize Winner: Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (Georgia) 2. Ashburn Volunteer Fire Rescue Department (Virginia) 3. Aquashicola Volunteer Fire Co. (Pennsylvania) 4. Montrose Fire Department (Minnesota) 5. Burkburnett Volunteer Fire Department (Texas) 6. East 52 Volunteer Fire Department School (Tennessee) 7. Cowlitz County Fire District #6 (Washington) 8. North Catawba Fire-Rescue (North Carolina) 9. Atlantic Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company (Virginia) 10. Hiawatha Fire Department (Iowa)

The top 10 were identified following a public voting period that ran from May 20 to June 20. The top nine vote-getting fire departments out of the top 10 will each receive a $1,000 cash prize and Johnsonville Sausage products for the department to raise additional funds.

IFSTA will also award each of these top 10 fire departments a ball cap, a T-shirt and an IFSTA eBook. IFSTA will also provide the latest in smoke alarm installer training for the department to help their community become more fire safe.

The grand prize will be awarded to the nominee, not the entrant. The approximate retail value (ARV) of all grand prizes is $25,350.

For additional information and details about all the top 10 winners, visit

About Johnsonville Sausage, LLC

Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is the No. 1 national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and fresh breakfast sausage links. Johnsonville employs approximately 1,400 members. Each member takes ownership of product quality to ensure the excellence and “Big Flavor” of Johnsonville Sausage.

Founded in 1945 by Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, the company remains privately owned today.

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